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Grafton News

Australian teachers pave the way for the future

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Australian teachers pave the way for the future

The 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards celebrates 22 of Australia’s most outstanding educators for building a brighter future for Australian students.

UNDER EMBARGO 09:00 am, Friday, 22 July 2022: Today, 22 outstanding teachers are being recognised for their leadership, innovation and tenacious commitment to their students and communities at the 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards.

In partnership with national charity Schools Plus, the 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards celebrates and rewards educators for demonstrating teaching excellence and helping to address the education gap in schools across the country.

These remarkable teachers have gone above and beyond in spite of unique challenges from an unprecedented year. Faced with devastating natural disasters and ongoing classroom disruptions due to Covid, these teachers were quick to adopt innovative and resilient education practices that fostered personal connection with students, asserting their place among the best in the country.

Their initiatives include everything from developing unique learning programs such as ‘Annual Mathematics Olympics’ and ‘Project Medical School’, to pioneering new eSports and drone technology courses. In a thread of commonality, this year’s cohort of Award winners are committed to equality and inclusivity, developing programs where students of all learning abilities and backgrounds can engage, learn and feel supported.

This year, and for the past six years, the Awards have recognised 12 outstanding teachers with a $45,000 Teaching Fellowship to fund a strategic program in their school and provide unique opportunities for professional development.

In addition, this year saw the introduction of a new awards category for teachers in the first five years of their profession. 10 Early Career Teachers who have the commitment, potential and passion to make a significant impact in classrooms have received $10,000 for professional development and mentoring.

While many of the 2021 Award recipients were recognised for improving outcomes through virtual learning when the pandemic hit, many of this year’s recipients have supported students in their transition from remote learning back to in-person learning in the classroom.

Luke Schepen, Head of Community Investment Commonwealth Bank, said: “The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards recognise outstanding educators who go above and beyond to nurture young minds for a bright future.

“Many of us will have fond memories of teachers who made a profound impact on our lives, encouraging us to achieve and prepare us for our future careers. Teachers and educators play such a vital role in preparing the next generation to meet the demands of an evolving workforce, economy and society and we congratulate our 2022 Award recipients for their exceptional contribution to schools across the country,” Mr Schepen said. CBA Media +61 02 9118 6919 media@cba.com.au commbank.com.au/newsroom Twitter: @cbanewsroom 2 Commonwealth Bank of Australia | Media Release 000/2022

 

Rosemary Conn, Chief Executive Officer, Schools Plus, said: “We are delighted to celebrate these inspirational teachers, who share our commitment to addressing the education gap in areas of disadvantage, particularly over the past two challenging years. Schools Plus is proud to support schools and teachers who have shown innovation, resilience and tireless commitment to their students.”

The 22 Award recipients have been selected from more than 2000 educators who were nominated for their outstanding contribution to their schools and broader communities. The 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award winners are:

Teaching Fellows:

  • _Trent Cowley, Kingston State School, QLD
  • _Jenna Cullen, Marsden State High School, QLD
  • _Daniel Edwards, Montello Primary School, TAS
  • _Toni Hatten-Roberts, Mastery Schools Australia, QLD
  • _Adrian Casten, Burnside State High School, QLD
  • _Michael Hornby, Mabel Park State High School, QLD
  • _Brendan Kenna, Wilmot Road Primary School, VIC
  • _Peter Langham, Monterey Secondary College, VIC
  • _Fransina Norval, Tennant Creek High School, NT
  • _Ian Preston, Murrumbidgee Regional High School, NSW
  • _Stephanie Salazar, John Purchase Public School, NSW
  • _Shane Wilson, Marble Bar Primary School, WA

 

Early Career Teachers:

  • _Holly Millican, South Grafton High School, NSW
  • _Lauren Walters, St Agnes Catholic High School, NSW
  • _Kylie Chatfield, Christmas Island District High School, WA
  • _Liudmyla Kovalev, Loganlea State High School, QLD
  • _Stella Ding, The Ponds High School, NSW
  • _Alys Tipler, Browns Plains State High School, QLD
  • _Justin Betts, Sunnybank State High School, QLD
  • _Claire Vogan, Minyerri School, NT
  • _Jessica Cridland, Monterey Secondary College, VIC
  • _Kathleen O’Rourke, Cootamundra Public School, NSW

This Friday (22 July), Holly Millican, a teacher at South Grafton High School, will be recognised as one of Australia’s most inspiring teachers in the 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards. Run in partnership with Australian Schools Plus, the Awards recognise the amazing contribution teachers and school leaders make, and is the largest national program to acknowledge excellence in education.

 

Holly is one of only 10 winners selected for the inaugural Early Careers Teaching Award, shortlisted from more than 400 educators. Please find more details attached on her achievements that will lead her to be recognised in this prestigious program

 

Holly Millican, South Grafton High School

Holly’s dedication as a Maths teacher has inspired countless students at South Grafton High School and across NSW. Among her efforts to lessen the stigma and difficulty many students experience with Maths; Holly’s founding of the Annual Mathematics Olympics stands out. 

 

Now in its third year, the inspiring program is run at five high schools in the Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley regions, and its digital resources have been accessed by over 30 schools across NSW. 

 

Through tasks that seek to inspire, student engagement and confidence have shown consistent and impressive improvement after each competition.

 

Holly will receive $10,000 in recognition of her outstanding achievements, to go towards professional development and mentoring.

 

“It is an absolute honour to be nominated for the 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards. I could not be more proud to represent the South Grafton High School community. Being considered alongside the other Early Career recipients has absolutely blown me away. To have the steps I have taken in my career thus far and the roles I have taken on be recognised as having a significant impact underpins my passion for changing the way Mathematics is viewed. It gives me confidence that my actions are having a real impact on real teachers and students.”

 

“I want to alter the way we teach and approach maths to change the perception that it’s a “boring” subject. Through the Mathematics Olympics, it’s exciting to show people maths can be adventurous; it can be playful; it can be exciting. It’s not just numbers on a page”, said Holly

The 2022 winners will join 60 alumni from previous cohorts, who have all been nationally recognised as leaders in their field and made a real difference to the future of their students.

For more information on the Commonwealth Bank, Teaching Awards, visit www.teachingawards.com.au.

– ENDS – CBA Media +61 02 9118 6919 media@cba.com.au commbank.com.au/newsroom Twitter: @cbanewsroom 3 Commonwealth Bank of Australia | Media Release 000/2022

 

Important information

About the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards:

The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards are run in partnership with Schools Plus. Launched in 2016, the Awards are run annually to recognise and reward 12 teachers and school leaders across Australia with a $45,000 Teaching Fellowship.

Commonwealth Bank’s 90-year history in education has enabled the Bank to help to support generations of young Australians to acquire the skills the economy and society need. Through the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards, the Bank is able to help support Australia’s great educators who are essential in helping to develop the future workforce of Australia.

About Schools Plus:

Schools Plus is a national not-for-profit that helps children facing disadvantage succeed at school. We do this by empowering teachers with funding, coaching and knowledge to create lasting change in their school and beyond.

Our purpose is to close the education gap caused by disadvantage and ensure all young Australians reach their potential through access to a great education. Our initiatives are teacher-led and tailored to best meet the needs of students in their specific school. More than 4,600 schools across Australia are eligible for tax-deductible donations through Schools Plus.

Grafton News

Big River Group Completes $22 Million Upgrade to Grafton Timber Factory

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John Lorente, CEO of Big River Group

Big River Group Completes $22 Million Upgrade to Grafton Timber Factory

 

Big River Group, a renowned figure in the diversified manufacturing and distribution of timber and building products, proudly announces the completion of a significant upgrade to its Grafton timber factory. This $22 million project, bolstered by support from the Australian and New South Wales (NSW) Governments under the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, marks a significant stride in the sustainable manufacturing of specialty technical timber products, thereby enhancing supply to the construction industry across NSW.

With roots dating back over a century in Grafton, Big River Group has traversed through three generations of the Pidcock family’s ownership before transitioning into a public entity listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX:BRI) in May 2017. This transition symbolises a century-long dedication and expansion within the region, now spanning operations across 26 sites in Australia and New Zealand.

The official opening of the Grafton operation today underscores the pivotal role of regional development and sustainable practices within the industry. It underscores the government’s steadfast commitment to bolstering industries crucial for recovery and growth in areas affected by bushfires, while promoting advancements in sustainable timber manufacturing and supply.

The upgrade, featuring the installation of state-of-the-art machinery, is poised to significantly augment Big River’s output. This enhancement equips Big River to supply an unprecedented volume of timber products throughout NSW each year, fostering growth in local and regional economies.

John Lorente, CEO of Big River Group, expresses his enthusiasm for the project’s culmination, stating, “This upgrade signifies not merely an expansion of our operational capacity, but a commitment to innovation, sustainability, and the future of the timber industry in NSW. With the backing of the Forestry Recovery Development Fund Program, we are positioned to make a profound impact on the availability of high-quality timber products, while also securing and creating jobs locally, regionally, and nationally.”

The upgrade is expected to generate 20 new jobs in Grafton, supplementing Big River’s existing local workforce and its 610 employees nationwide. This development underscores Big River’s enduring commitment to nurturing local talent through trainee and apprenticeship programs, and bolstering local businesses financially through logistics, warehousing, engineering supplies, and contracting services.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, emphasises the government’s role in facilitating these critical developments, noting, “Big River Group’s Wagga Wagga plantation bore the brunt of the Black Summer Bushfires, but with substantial investment from both levels of Government, new machinery and equipment have been installed in the factory in Grafton, delivering a significant boost to the local community.”

Minister for Regional NSW, Tara Moriarty, echoes this sentiment, highlighting the project’s significance for local and regional communities. “Big River Group’s Grafton timber factory is experiencing robust growth, and it’s gratifying to see these upgrades support them in delivering high-quality timber products to the construction industry for years to come.”

Beyond supplying essential building products for the construction industry, Big River’s operations offer an array of decorative and architectural products, many of which are proudly manufactured in Grafton. This fusion of functionality and aesthetics, supported by a century-long legacy and a forward-looking ethos, positions Big River as a cornerstone in sustaining the architectural integrity and development of NSW, Australia, and New Zealand.

“As we unveil the latest upgrade to our Grafton facility, we perpetuate a tradition of excellence established over 100 years ago,” asserts John Lorente. “This project epitomizes more than just an expansion; it’s a tangible manifestation of our dedication to innovation, sustainability, and investment in the growth of our workforce. By augmenting our capacity to supply high-value timber products and investing in our team’s development, we uphold our century-long legacy and reinforce our commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for the timber industry in Australia.”

“We are immensely grateful for the support extended by both the Australian and NSW State Governments through the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund,” John From Big River Group concludes, expressing profound gratitude for the government’s invaluable support.

 

For more local Grafton news, click here.

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Grafton News

Westlawn Finance lending a hand to Our Kids in Grafton

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Westlawn Finance lending a hand to Our Kids in Grafton

Westlawn Finance lending a hand to Our Kids in Grafton

 

The Westlawn Finance and Insurance Charity Golf Day, held recently in Grafton, has raised $18,000 to help purchase a Telehealth Enable Cart and a portable Nitrous Oxide Machine for the Children’s Ward at Grafton Base Hospital.

Telehealth Enable Carts give doctors and nurses a fully mobile, ultra-high quality and secure telehealth solution that can be wheeled to any bed in the children’s ward, nursery or emergency department.

A Portable Nitrous Oxide Machine assists with light sedation when a medical procedure is required for our paediatric patients.

Our Kids is a self-funded trust whose auspice is the Northern NSW Local Health District. Our Kids aims to improve the health services for children in the Northern Rivers area.

Our Kids raises awareness and vital funds through local events and donations. With the funds raised, Our Kids works with the local medical team to purchase lifesaving medical equipment for children receiving care in hospitals in the Northern Rivers. This can include the Children’s Wards, Special Care Nursery and emergency departments in local hospitals.

Westlawn Finance lending a hand to Our Kids in Grafton

Dr Andrew Terrey, Geoff Scofield, Amanda Fryer and Mark Dougherty

Our Kids also issues annual Community Grants for families or organisations caring for children with special needs. These grants can be used to purchase equipment, medicine, and therapeutic items to help the children in their care.

Thanks to the generosity of local bequests, Our Kids has been able to set up educational funds for Continuous Education Scholarships for midwives, paediatric nurses, and allied health staff who work in our local hospitals.

“Thank you to Geoff Schofield, Mark Dougherty and the Westlawn Finance and Insurance team for organising such a magnificent day for Grafton and Our Kids,” Rebekka Battista, Our Kids Fundraising Coordinator, said.

“The telehealth enable cart and portable nitrous oxide machine will be a great addition to Grafton Base Hospital.”

If you would like to help Grafton Base Hospital, Children’s Ward and Special Care Nursery, please get in touch with Our Kids on info@ourkids.org.au.

 

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Clarence Valley News

Queens of Song

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Queens of Song - Melissa Buchholz (piano) and Meg Kiddle (vocals)

Queens of Song

 

Queens of Song is a nostalgic and highly entertaining show coming to the Saraton Theatre on Sunday 7th April at 2pm. Melissa Buchholz (piano) and Meg Kiddle (vocals) are former Grafton girls and they attended South Grafton High School together. They have both established successful careers as individual musicians and reunited after many years to form this duo that has toured across Queensland and NSW. Melissa has achieved many pinnacles and awards during her career including a Fellowship with Trinity College London, and she is now an Examiner with Trinity College London. Meg is a very successful touring performer and holds a Bachelor of Music (classical voice) and her Masters in Vocal Pedagogy.

Queens of Song - Melissa Buchholz (piano) and Meg Kiddle (vocals)

Melissa Buchholz (piano) and Meg Kiddle (vocals)

The show is a celebration of the golden voices of the past, that are no longer with us. People such as Mama Cass, Karen Carpenter, Helen Reddy, Freddie Mercury, Peter Allen and more. It is a walk down memory lane for audiences as they reminisce about a time when life was simpler and the music was timeless. The show features anecdotes and trivia about the artists, as well as personal insights into each musician and an AV presentation that runs for the entirety of the show. The sparkling vocals from Meg seem to adapt seamlessly between the genres, while Melissa provides stunning pianistic work and cleverly crafted backing tracks that she has produced. Audiences have given rave reviews for the show which starts in 1968 and travels through the decades to the 1990’s.

Meg and Mel are very excited to be returning to their hometown for this very special show. The Saraton Theatre is an iconic venue that they both performed in while still at school, and they feel privileged to be returning to this stage as professional musicians.

Get your tickets now from here

 

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